HIGH performance director Nick Johnston has revealed Worcester Warriors’ players will get a first taste of the club's new artificial pitch on August 15.

Warriors’ first team squad will have returned from France after playing their opening warm up match against Clermont Auvergne.

And Warriors’ development squad will then prepare to host Bristol on the new Sixways surface on August 18 (7.30pm).

“The team will get the opportunity to get on the pitch on August 15,” said Johnston.

“The pitch is ready to go and three-and-a-half weeks ahead of schedule.”

Warriors have become the first Aviva Premiership rugby club to convert to the latest generation of artificial grass pitch.

The new synthetic pitch and will be the first in the UK to feature an organic infill rather than the more widely used rubber crumb made from desiccated car tyres.

The grass on which the players will be playing is a carpet, woven and manufactured with special polymer backing that enhances durability.

Johnston said: “We believe it (the pitch) will suit our style of play and we want to have different styles for different teams we play against.

“But the one thing that will be consistent is the surface and that’s what we can guarantee.”

The state-of-the-art, all-weather surface is from Italian specialists, Limonta Sport and will allow greater usage for the club's elite academy and community rugby.

The club also hopes the pitch will provide commercial opportunities for events and reduce maintenance costs.

The surface will be maintained after every 10 hours of use and Warriors have hired additional trained ground staff to deliver the maintenance.

Johnston said: “We know the speed of the ball at the rucks is quicker but it’s not significantly quicker than the claims from some people who are anti the surface.

“There is a lot of conjecture out there about AGPs (artificial grass pitches).

“There’s a misconception about the effect of AGPS.

“There’s no evidence to support they are any more detrimental than grass.

People talk about things like grass burns. You can get grass burns on grass in July, August, September, October, April and May. The new field has a silicon surface which helps the body glide. The technology is advanced.”